Michael Fallon, the Secretary of State for Defence, has confirmed that air operations have taken place to assist the Iraqi Government.
In a statement Fallon confirmed:
“Royal Air Force aircraft have conducted further successful strikes on terrorist targets in northern and western Iraq. Tornado GR4s from RAF Akrotiri conducted an armed reconnaissance mission on Friday 27 March in the Mosul area, in the course of which they identified an excavator being used by ISIL to construct defensive positions against continuing Iraqi and Kurdish offensives to liberate the local population from oppression by the terrorists. A Brimstone missile made a direct hit on the vehicle, destroying it. Another Tornado patrol, on Sunday 29 March, provided close air support to Iraqi forces near Tikrit, and the accuracy of the Brimstone missile system allowed a successful attack to be conducted on a terrorist armoured personnel carrier positioned under a road bridge.
RAF Reaper remotely piloted aircraft have also continued their work to provide overwatch to Iraqi forces, and on Tuesday 31 March, a Reaper supported Iraqi army operations in Anbar province. As well as providing invaluable surveillance coverage, the aircraft was able to assist the Iraqi ground forces with a Hellfire missile strike on a terrorist position that was directing small arms and rocket propelled grenade fire onto an advancing army unit.
As well as providing air support to the Iraqi ground forces, the international coalition is also helping train and equip them. Having helped provide extensive infantry training to the Kurdish peshmerga, British military personnel are now leading the development of a specific coalition programme to improve the ability of the Iraqi and Kurdish troops to deal effectively with the significant threat posed by improvised explosive devices left behind by ISIL as they are forced onto the defensive by successful government offensives”.